Cultural Object

Computer- the object I have chosen, which relates to history and is really interesting, is a programmable machine that receives input, stores and manipulates data and provides output in a useful format. Computers are commonly used items in many areas and are very important for human life and their future. But what is exactly a computer? Where does it come from? What impact has it made on our society? Why is it so important to a lot of people? Does it really deserve the title of one of the best inventions ever?

First computers weren’t as technological and complex like the one we know currently. The earliest existence of a modern day computer’s ancestor was the abacus, which dates back to 80BC Greece, but the earliest programmable analogue computer is considered to be the “castle clock” (Al- Jazari, 1206). It displayed the zodiac, the solar and lunar orbits plus the crescent moon-shaped pointer travelling across a gateway causing automatic doors to open every hour. The next innovation in computers took place in 1694 when Blaire Pascal invented the first “digital calculating machine”. Unfortunately it could only add numbers and they had to be entered by turning dials, but the design gave an idea to other people. Massive improvement to textile loom (and not only) came in 1801, when Joseph Marie Jacquard introduced a series of punched paper cards as a template which allowed his loom to weave intricate pattern automatically. It was an important step in the development of computers, which was used by Herman Hollerith in the late 1880’s.   His recording data machine-readable medium worked by processing the punched cards by tabulator and the keypunch machine, which he also designed. These 3 inventions were the foundation of the modern information processing industry.
By late 1930’s punched cards machine techniques had become so well established and reliable that Howard Hathaway Aikan together with engineers at IBM, undertook construction of a large automatic digital...